A portion of NEM stolen by hackers from the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was moved to Yobit, which was allegedly founded by an ex-Soviet entrepreneur.
About 1.1 billion yen ($10 million) in NEM was sent to accounts of the cryptocurrency exchange Yobit, reports Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. Japanese law enforcement agencies are currently verifying that information.
The possibility to track stolen NEM is granted by a recently developed by NEM Foundation automated tagging system.
Yobit is a cryptocurrency exchange supposedly founded by Pavel Krymov, a Russian entrepreneur born in Ukraine, who was accused of the organization of multiple Ponzi schemes, such as Questra World, A.G.A.M., Forex Trend, Panteon Finance and many others. Although he never confirmed he had been involved in creating the exchange, these rumors were circulating on the net for a while. Thus, the Russian-speaking forum on financial technologies MMGP, founded by Krymov, was repeatedly spotted in promoting Yobit.
The website of Yobit is registered by the Russian-based domain registrar REG.ru, although hiding the information about the administrator of the domain.
In 2017, the Russia-related cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e went offline after a Russian national and alleged BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece on a US warrant. The United States authorities accuse Vinnik of laundering more than $4bn in bitcoin, including funds obtained from the hack of the failed Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. The US Federal Government seized the domain name belonging to BTC-e, but the exchange itself returned to the market under the brand WEX and is still operating.